If you are a parent, you know that getting your child to sleep can sometimes be tricky. It’s even more challenging if your child has eczema.
Eczema is a chronic condition that causes dry, itchy patches on the skin. It often begins in early childhood. According to the Eczema Association of Australasia, over half of all people with eczema show symptoms within their first year of life, and 20% of people develop eczema before age five.
Eczema is often worse at night, making eczema sleep problems quite common. What can you do when eczema is waking your baby up at night?
How to Help Your Eczema Child Sleep Better
When your baby or toddler with eczema is not sleeping, try these suggestions.
- Follow a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine is an important part of sleep training for all children. You can include any activity you like, as long as it will calm your child and not excite him. For example, you might give your child a bath, brush their teeth, have them change for bed, and read a story. Begin the routine at the same time each night, about 15 or 20 minutes before bedtime. The most important thing is to be consistent. It will help your child learn to associate the routine with bedtime.
- Before bedtime, give your child a lukewarm bath. Be sure the bath is not too hot. Hot water can dry out the skin and cause eczema to flare up. Avoid using soap, as soap can dry and irritate your child’s skin. Use a mild cleanser that is fragrance-free. After the bath, pat your child’s skin dry. Apply moisturiser to the skin within three minutes after bathing.
- Use plenty of moisturizer on your child’s skin. Regular moisturising is a must if your child has eczema. Apply moisturiser at least two or three times per day. Always moisturise your child’s skin after a bath.
- Dress your child in loose-fitting pyjamas. Tight clothing can trap sweat and irritate the skin. Dress your child in soft, loose clothing. Avoid scratchy, rough fabrics. 100% cotton is the best choice. It lets the skin breathe and will not cause irritation. Wash your child’s clothing with fragrance-free detergents.
- Use cotton bedding. Avoid bedding made with wool or synthetic fabrics. Rough fibers can irritate your child’s skin and cause eczema to flare. Use cotton bedding to help your child sleep.
- Cover your baby’s hands to lessen scratching. Eczema mittens are effective if your baby is scratching their face. When you cover your baby’s hands, scratching will not cause as much damage because it will not break the skin. It will help to minimize waking up scratching.
- Keep your child’s nails cut short. Scratching increases skin irritation and itching. Reduce scratching by cutting your child’s nails short. File them regularly with an emery board so there aren’t any sharp edges. This will help to prevent damage to the skin.
- Maintain a cool temperature in your child’s bedroom. A hot, dry room can trigger an eczema flare-up. Keep your child’s bedroom as cool as possible. Make sure to use a humidifier. Dry air can make itching worse.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom. Pet dander from dogs and cats is a common trigger for eczema. Keep your dogs and cats out of your child’s bedroom at night, and don’t allow your pets onto the bed. If you have pets, make sure to vacuum all of your carpets and furniture regularly. Pet dander gets everywhere in your home.
- Consult your doctor if your child’s eczema continues. If your child’s eczema does not improve after following these steps, you should see your doctor. Your paediatrician will be able to recommend additional treatment options.
Does your child have eczema? Hope’s Relief offers a selection of products clinically proven to provide relief. Please contact us to find out more.